Thursday, August 29, 2013

Copywork Elementary and 6th grade week 1

I love copywork. I've used it to teach my oldest two the order of the Presidents, body parts, grammar, and much more. I also use this thirty minutes to pick up two rooms 5 minutes a piece, load the dishwasher from breakfast and clean the counters and prep lunch and dinner if I didn't already put something in the crockpot.

For the elementary kids-this week we will do 30 minutes of copywork using Bob Book words.

 I found Bob Books last year and just love them. We got started, but because we took a summer break it fell to the wayside. So, this will be good review for my two 2nd graders, and 1st grader and be good for my 4 year old who wasn't interested in school last year.

Their first week will be easy, and I will add on as the weeks pass. 

Elementary copywork week 1:


Copy the words Mat, Sat, Sam, On, the, end, onto lined slateboards 4x each
(should finish early and can do puzzles)

6th grade copywork week 1:

For my 6th grader, I wanted something different to start out this year. If you've never heard of the public school teacher Ron Clark, you should. He has a great book called The Essential 55. While I'm not raising kids to conform--Ron Clark's rules can also apply to homeschoolers. The rules are about more than your standard classroom rules, and can be used for when they get a job or go to college, or apply in public. It's just good solid advice and also could complete Good Citizenship requirements if you have to meet those.

Monday and Friday:
(has wednesday off for watching documentary)

Write rules 1-5

Tuesday and Thursday:
Write rules 6-11

Elementary and 6th grade Spanish and French week 1-3

Just like geography, I've been very satisfied with how little time it can take to teach a foreign language. I use just 20 minutes.

I don't know about anyone else but it can seem daunting to teach foreign language when you aren't fluent yourself, but I think slow and steady wins the race. This year we aren't just concentrating on basic Spanish and French, but writing and reading basic Spanish and French.

This year is the same, we have Spanish Monday and Tuesday's, with French being Thursdays and Fridays. We will start slowly and add some first readers in as we get used to our new schedule.

I should add, on days we do French, I wake the kids up and give morning instructions In French, and the same for days we do Spanish. I add new phrases and questions as the week goes along. You can use a translator to easily find these phrases to immerse your kids in the language they are learning. Just be sure if there is a masculine or feminine, you are using the correct phrase.

Monday and Tuesday--will repeat both days.

Buenos Dias song 3x

A Comer song 3x

Learn to write numbers 1-5 worksheet

Learn to write colors worksheet

Wednesday and Thursday--will repeat both days.

French Greeting song

Learn to write numbers 1-5 worksheet 

Learn to write colors worksheet

Elementary and 6th grade geography week 1

You might notice that geography in our homeschool is just 10 minutes long. That may seem like too little time, but I promise, if you are consistent this small amount of time can produce big results. My four year old knows more about geography than I did in high school. 

I think it's important even at young ages for children to be able to recognize names of countries and the world around them. I find it not only helps in terms of giving them a global worldview, but I'd argue empathy as well. Knowing the history and the 'why's' behind a country gives them historical content into a culture. 

This year, we are concentrating on US geography, as this will be our concentration in history studies. 

And by the way, with the various ages I teach, it is perfectly possible to teach them all at once. You can go more in depth with your older children a couple nights a week to give them a challenge. 

How I 'do' geography. I'm lucky enough to be able to hook my computer up to our large screen television in the living room. This allows everyone to see and with 5 of them, it just makes it easier. 

I start of with this world map on the television.  Using a pointer I first go over the continents from largest to smallest in a sing-song voice.

North and South America
and Australia

Then the oceans: Starting on the left of the map-

North Pacific
South Pacific
North Atlantic
South Atlantic
And back to Pacific

Then, I will concentrate on ONE continent and go over the countries in that continent. 

Then year I'll start with North and South America. 

It goes like this:
United States of America (be sure to point to Alaska and Hawaii when you say this)
El Salvador
Costa Rica
Dominican Rep
Puerto Rico
St Kitts and Nevis
Antingua and Barbuda
Trinidad and Tobago

South America

French Polynesia 
Easter Island

French Guiana

Trindade Island
Falkland Island
South Georgia Island
South Sandwich Island 

This takes just 3 minutes once you are used to this--the kids recite everything with you. 

Next we move on to US States and Facts-throughout this year I will use this map for a teacher reference. 

We will start with the south since we live in Texas, then move North-East, Mid-West, West. 

This week we will do:

I will do one state at a time, and quickly go over the relevant facts, having the kids recite them with me.

We name the:
State Abreviation
State Capital 
Major Industries
Main Rivers
Bordering states (I point to the bordering states using correct direction in relation to the state we are doing) 
Bordering Country
Bordering Body of Water
State Nickname
Picture of state flag

Because we live in Texas, we recite a few more facts than we do for the other states such as:
State animal
State flower
State song
Highest point
Largest city

All of this takes around seven minutes or less once your kids get used to the pace. 


Monday, August 26, 2013

First day of his sophmore year

It was an early morning in our household. The husband was up first for work, and thank goodness. We were all super tired, but after a good breakfast (and coffee for me) the big kid and I got started. 

He did so good! It was extra work he said, but he liked it because it was a mixture of reading, videos, and writing. 

He stopped me several times to tell me things that were interesting to him, which is always a good sign that we are on the right track. 

I am very pleased I made the decision to delay the younger kids for a bit. Yay for a great first day, and an even greater student. 

American Literature Week One

 Week one of American Literature: CLEP study

Note: I'll come back and add the rest later.

Language Arts


Get printed timeline : use hole punch and put in timeline section of three ring binder. for LA
3 min

Open Outline Of American Literature Book: Read to page 4(says 5 on counter at top) and stop at left side on Literature Of Exploration.
10 minutes

Go to American Lit and Comp: Read page one.
Under Key Terms: Copy each one on the first page of your American Lit notebook.
11 min

Note: DO NOT go to reading assignment or project at bottom of page yet.

Next: Complete pages two and three on ALC:
Turn Question For Thought in to your assessment folder and call me to check your quiz.
65 min

Go to American Passages and watch video on Native Voices.
30 min


Go to CLEP flashcards: Read all 36 authors and their works. Make a note of where you leave off if you don't finish. Keep a paper with the date and where you leave off each time.
5 min

Open Outline of American Literature book: Read from page 4: Literature of Exploration to page 7, stopping at Anne Bradstreet.
20 min

Go to American Lit and Comp: Read page 4. Videos do not work--that is OK. For the reading assignment click here. Do not use one on page. Except Of Plymouth Plantation
10 min

Watch video on William Bradford
5 min

Go to quizzes. Take first one on William Bradford. Stop when it gives you the score so I can record it.
5 minutes

Get out your American Lit notebook: Go to 39 questions. Make sure to save at least four consecutive pages for this project. Write questions 1-6, Click on "show answer" on the left side bar.
20 min

Sunday, August 25, 2013

On the eve of Sophmore High School....

I am SO glad I homeschool! I realized yesterday, that I am just not ready to start my 6th grader and elementary kids tomorrow. 

I feel more confident now that I made the decision though. Since my oldest is doing a much heavier work-load this year, I can give him these two weeks of my attention to help get him started. 

I'll do some reading with the younger kids and library times to get them ready. 

I am thinking about all you homeschool families out there, those newbies who are having their very first year, those of you with transitions like to junior high and high school--wishing us all a successful, fun year! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ap US History: Week One

 I think I'm going to TRY to put all my lesson plans online. I'll see how it goes, but it might help if something ever happened to my lesson plans. If you're looking for a great planner, go to I love it. I can embed links right inside, have a lesson plan book for anything I want, and for my oldest, he can sign in and get his lessons without my assistance, which makes him totally independent. 

US AP History


Go over chpt 1 objectives
click on unit 1 chp 1 to find.

Watch all of lesson 1
15 minutes

On a piece of notebook paper-on this site click on chapt 1: Scroll to bottom and copy timeline.
15 minutes

Read Chpt 1 of American Pageant online.
45 minutes

Complete Ace Practice Test chapt 1. Note: Click "yes" on the pop up to begin quiz.
Note: call me to check grade
15 minutes

Complete Flashcards for Chapt 1
Click on instruction, read how Flashcards work. Work on Flashcard memorization until 9:00Am
30 minutes



Complete Flashcards for chapt 1
5 min

Complete Chapt 1 writing assignment. Note: Turn in to assessment folder.
Note: click on "unit one" then "chapter 1" then "writing assignment."
35 min

Read Chpt 1 of Howard Zinn's A People's History of The United States.
45 minutes

Complete Map Activity
Notes; Get from assignment folder. Use hole punch and add to notebook.
Note: click on "unit one" then "chapter 1" then "map activity."to find.
25 min

Complete quizzlet flash cards for chpt 1
1o min


Complete Flashcards for chapt 1
5 min

Watch all of Lesson 2
16 minutes

Watch: The Great Inca Rebellion on netflix
Note: whole family
52 minutes

Read About the Test: The Document-Based Question
and The other Essay Questions

Watch youtube videos on DBQ
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
3o min

Complete quizlezlet flashcards for chapt 1.
10 minutes


Watch all of Lesson 3
15 minutes

Answer Chapt 1 Discussion questions
35 minutes

Learn about Juan Ponce De Leon
5 min

Learn about Fransisco Vasquez De Cornonodo

Learn about Hernando DeSoto

Learn about Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo part 1 and part 2
15 minutes

Learn about Bartolome de las Casas

Learn about Jacque Cartier

Learn about Samuel de Champlain

Read chapter 1 notes


Watch Chapt 1 review
5 minutes

20 minutes to study using anything on the lesson planner in the past week.

Close all tabs: Open quiz and call me to confirm it's okay to start.
30 minutes

Watch youtube videos on DBQ

Step 5
Step 6
Step 7
Step 8

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Just three teacher planning days left!

I think I finally have the schedule I want for this coming school year. Homeschooling six kids can be a challenge to make sure everyone's needs are met, so it can take a bit to tweak it just the way you like. Especially this year with my oldest doing AP classes at home.

For my 6th grader and younger kids, I'm adding in what I call, Individual Time: It's what it sounds like, 30 minutes with me for personal time. It could be to teach my youngest to tie his shoes, for learning to cut and paste, it could be extra help on math or reading, learning to cook or whatever skill that particular child needs to work on. 

High School Schedule: 1 child sophmore in High School

7:00 American History 3 weeks/Biology 3 weeks
9:00 American lit CLEP 3 week/Grammar and Creative writing 3 weeks
11:00 Guitar lessons
12:00 Lunch
12:30 Math
2:00 Current events Mon-tues
geography wed-fri
2:15 Foreign language
2:45 Music history
3:15 Civics mon-tues
Humanities wed-fri
3:50 School dismissed

5:00-8:00 pm tues-thur
"Homework" night. Time to read literature books and do computer applications

Notes: He will have every fourth week off to study guitar intensely and sleep in late. ;)

Junior High and Elementary Schedule: 5 children 1 6th grader 2 2nd graders 1 1st grader 1 preschooler

7:30 Geography
7:40 French or spanish
8:00 Copywork
8:30 History 3 weeks/science 3 weeks
9:30 Recess

10:00 Math
10:30 Teacher math instruction time
Elementary kids
10:00 Math-Teacher instruction time
10:30 Listen to book on audio
11:00 Language arts
12:00 Lunch
12:30 Spelling
Elementary kids
12:30 Handwriting without tears
1:00 Drawing
Elementary kids
1:00 Language arts

2:00 Individuals:
Nicko-computers 2:00 to 2:30--Journal writing
Zander-coloring, arts, crafts 2:00 to 2:30 computers 2:30 to 3:00
Xathanael-individual time 2:00 to 2:30--iphone learning app 2:30 to 3:00
Zoie- coloring, arts, crafts 2:00 to 2:30--individual time 2:30 to 3:00
Lilly-iphone learning app 2:00 to 2:30--journal 2:30 to 3:00

Xathanael-computers 2:00 to 2:30--, coloring, arts, crafst 2:30 to 3:00
Lilly- individuals 2:00 to 2:30--computers 2:30 to 3:00
Zander-iphone app 2:00 to 2:30--individuals 2:30 to 3:00
Nicko-arts and crafts 2:00 to 3:00--iphone app 2:30 t0 3:00
Zoie-journal 2:00 to 2:30--coloring, arts crafts

Zoie--Computers 2:00 to 2:30--iphone app 2:30 to 3:00
Nicko--individuals 2:00 to 2:30--computers 2:30 to 3:00
Zander--journal 2:00 to 2:30--arts crafts 2:30 to 3:00
Lilly--iphone 2:00 to 2:30--arts and crafts 2:30 to 3:00
Xane--arts and crafts 2:00 t0 2:30--individuals 2:30 to 3:00

Zander--computers 2:00 to 2:30--iphone 2:30 to 3:00
Lilly--journal 2:00 to 2:30--computers 2:30 to 3:00
Nicko--iphone 2:00 to 2:30--journal 2:30 to 3:00
Zoie--individuals 2:00 to 2:30--crafts 2:30 to 3:00
Xane--journal 2:00 to 2:30--individuals

Nicko computers

Fun Fourth Week: Every fourth week: Art, crafts, Songs, field trips, FUN!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Beginnings: 2013-2014

So many things for the start of our new school year. 

First: we took an unintentional break. It was supposed to be a "light," summer that turned into an extra-light summer! I was just feeling lazy. I'm glad though now, especially as my oldest and I decided he would take on AP classes at home. 

My oldest M goes into his junior year, feeling positive he knows his calling. He self-taught himself guitar last year, and is very much into singing and songwriting. His goal, is to get into a college with a good music program, and hopefully with a scholarship. So while AP classes don't do a lot for advancing his career, it might be impressive on a college application. 

So our new schedule is for longer school hours for my oldest, but also breaks where we take "breaks" from the hard work. 

For M, he will be on a rotating schedule. He will do AP History three weeks, then AP Biology for three weeks. He will do Literature for three weeks (doing CLEP exam for literature to justify mommy-grades) then do creative writing for three weeks. He will rotate humanities and civics during the week, rotate French and Spanish during the week, and will do 15 minutes of Geography, and current events daily. Because of his goals, he will also use the school hours to study guitar and to study music history. 

A very full schedule, but he is my kid who actually likes to stay busy and is very much looking forward to this year. 

I'm planning on rotating subjects for my 11 year old and my littles as well. 

Not just that, but I'm excited most about adding something new. I always stress that we are not getting enough music appreciation in and art so every fourth week, we will be doing, Fun Fourth Week. During this week, we will do arts and crafts pertaining to what we learned. We will learn songs, and dances. We will also use Thursdays to attend the Zoo and take advantage of the free museums and do field trips. I hope this works out like I envision! I think this will be an opportunity as well, to my oldest to destress from his new workload. 

I'll be adding lots this week, sometimes two posts a day as I'd like to really keep track of what we are doing this year, as a sort of "yearbook." 

As usual I'll post either samples of what we are doing, or I might just list weekly what is going on. 

School starts August 26th!